News and gossip from The Emirates in the past 24 hours.
Arsenal take on West Brom on Saturday and are smarting on the injury to Lukas Podolski who is confirmed as absent for the tie. Theo Walcott will also miss the game as will Laurent Koscielny while Bacary Sagna remains a major doubt. Andre Santos and Abou Diaby are continuing their comebacks but Wenger may be able to start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the first time in three league games.
West Brom are still without number one goalkeeper Ben Foster but he is their only absentee for Stev Clarke’s Baggies.
Arsene Wenger has admitted he is growing increasingly frustrated at Theo Walcott’s stalling over a new contract at The Emirates. Wenger says they have been in negotiations with the England forward for months however it is believed he is holding out for more wages or assurances about playing in a striker role as opposed to his current utilisation in the wide positions. Wenger insists that there are no plans to sell the 23-year-old in January in order to cash in at the last minute and rather he wants Walcott ‘to make up his mind’ on the issue.
Bacary Sagna has continued conflicting reports about his happiness at the club. There has been reports that his representatives were unhappy at the one-year extension being offered by Arsenal but the player has been quoted as saying differently. The French international, who has battled with serious injuries for the past 18 months has told Arsenal.com that he is ‘very happy’ to be playing for the North London club.
Wenger has urged his team to show an immediate response after their recent string of disappointing performances. He admits that the margin for error is now extremely small if they want to challenge at the top end of the Premier League table but is ‘confident’ his team have the quality to do it.
Arsenal’s NextGen side have progressed to the latter stages after a stirring performance against Athletic Bilbao. They went 1-0 up early on through Jon Toral before Bilbao pulled one back from the spot. Further goals came when Toral grabbed his second, Zak Ansah struck and then Isaac Hayden grabbed a fourth. Despite a consolation for the Young Lions Arsenal won 4-2 to ensure them of a place in the next round.
Arsenal Football Club players and coaching staff will donate their entire days wages on Saturday toward the Arsenal Foundation. The foundation helps transform the lives of troubled young individuals at home and abroad and 50p from the sale of every matchday programme will also go toward the good cause.
What are your thoughts on everything Arsenal FC on the 7th December 2012?
image: © wonker